Dear Reviewer

Sam Keller is having a good week. Well, okay: I say that, but as another author corrected me (and Maura certainly would), it’s a good week for me too. Yesterday Dear Author reviewed Special Delivery. Now, there’s a practical level where this is very, very nice, because this is a well-known, high-traffic review site, and another one known for not giving away positive reviews like candy. And Special Delivery’s review was a solid A. So yes, this is really nice exposure. What I love about the review, though, was the joy I felt in the reviewer (the delightful Sarah Frantz) as she reviewed it. She regarded it with the scrutiny a literary critic would, because she is one, but she loved it too. I enjoyed that mix a lot. I love my work being called "character-driven." I love how she highlighted the romantic relationship as the strength.

I have so far been very fortunate in all my reviews, and I love every one of them. I love it when smart people talk about my work—and it doesn’t have to be positive! It’s nice, but what I love is the discussion. I love Goodreads reviews too. Really, really love them. I love the reviews of Hero where the reader couldn’t connect and said why. I love the reviews of Special Delivery that say the aunt is cardboard. (There are a few specific people in my life I modeled her after. Yes! Take that, cardboard bitches! You read as FAKE IN FICTION. There is no better karma.) I love the review that said the reader couldn’t connect to Mitch. People think I’m crazy, but I really do love them all. I don’t know why. I think it’s still just fascinating me that someone is reading my work and taking the time to articulate what it meant to them. And the people who care about it enough to post reviews regularly on blogs? Love this even more. I just geek out. Something I made up in my head is the subject of a discussion. Dude! I’m sorry. That will never get old.

But yeah. It’s extra nice to feel the love. Especially when it comes like this:

Sam knows what he likes, but he’s ashamed of it and he thinks he shouldn’t like it. And then he meets Mitch who also knows what he likes and is also ashamed of it and terrified of messing things up with Sam, who he recognizes as special, the way he’s messed things up with previous relationships because of the kink. So they both desperately want the hot, dirty sex, and are both ashamed of it, but can’t stay away from it. Perfect conflict.

And this. THIS!

And that’s another thing I love. The conflict has nothing to do with the fact that they’re gay. The conflict is the *other* type of “wrong” sex they like. Our society is fucked up about sex and I love how this book shows that and also shows how good and right it is to do whatever you want so long as there’s consent and enjoyment all around.

This is so what I wanted to talk about. To talk about how sex is beautiful in a lot of different ways. That it’s hard work to say what it is you want and dangerous, but it’s good work, and it’s rewarding. That sex doesn’t have to be pretty to be good. That you can’t do it wrong so long as it’s filling your soul. That the only person who gets to tell you what’s wrong in sex is you. That sex should be a joy.  Yes!  This!

This post is harder to write than I thought it would, because I feel like it’s not making sense. Either that or I’m tired. But I wanted to say thank you, Sarah. And thank you Kassa and Mrs. Giggles and everyone else who reviews. Thank you even when I don’t hit the right notes for you, because I can’t always. But thanks for reviewing so that, every now and again, we can both have moments like this.

Half the fun of writing a story is writing something other people can see and experience and enjoy. The other half is hearing that people actually did. Thanks for letting me know.

9 Comments on “Dear Reviewer

  1. (There are a few specific people in my life I modeled her after. Yes! Take that, cardboard bitches! You read as FAKE IN FICTION. There is no better karma.)
    LOL!! Okay, ’cause here’s the thing: I have relatives who would read as cardboard in fiction. And I know people like Sam’s aunt. So yeah, even though I was like, “Wow, she’s really unrelentingly a not-nice person,” I didn’t think, “She can’t be real.”
    Basically because I know people who are that mean… which has to be a new level of depressing. *laugh*
    But that line? That line made me laugh so much, darling. So much. ❤

  2. (There are a few specific people in my life I modeled her after. Yes! Take that, cardboard bitches! You read as FAKE IN FICTION. There is no better karma.)
    LOL!! Okay, ’cause here’s the thing: I have relatives who would read as cardboard in fiction. And I know people like Sam’s aunt. So yeah, even though I was like, “Wow, she’s really unrelentingly a not-nice person,” I didn’t think, “She can’t be real.”
    Basically because I know people who are that mean… which has to be a new level of depressing. *laugh*
    But that line? That line made me laugh so much, darling. So much. ❤

  3. (There are a few specific people in my life I modeled her after. Yes! Take that, cardboard bitches! You read as FAKE IN FICTION. There is no better karma.)
    LOL!! Okay, ’cause here’s the thing: I have relatives who would read as cardboard in fiction. And I know people like Sam’s aunt. So yeah, even though I was like, “Wow, she’s really unrelentingly a not-nice person,” I didn’t think, “She can’t be real.”
    Basically because I know people who are that mean… which has to be a new level of depressing. *laugh*
    But that line? That line made me laugh so much, darling. So much. ❤

  4. Amen sistah! Sex is beautiful and should be celebrated! There is no wrong way to do it as long as you are enjoying yourself and no one is getting hurt…unless they want to be :), then thats okay too!
    And your reviews…they rock because YOU are an amazing writer! You make people FEEL things and understand things and be confused about things, and smile and cry! You make people want to write a review about your books. Because sometimes I read a book that isnt even worth the words of a review. Your books are worth the words, sugar!
    ~big slobber smooches~

  5. Amen sistah! Sex is beautiful and should be celebrated! There is no wrong way to do it as long as you are enjoying yourself and no one is getting hurt…unless they want to be :), then thats okay too!
    And your reviews…they rock because YOU are an amazing writer! You make people FEEL things and understand things and be confused about things, and smile and cry! You make people want to write a review about your books. Because sometimes I read a book that isnt even worth the words of a review. Your books are worth the words, sugar!
    ~big slobber smooches~

  6. Amen sistah! Sex is beautiful and should be celebrated! There is no wrong way to do it as long as you are enjoying yourself and no one is getting hurt…unless they want to be :), then thats okay too!
    And your reviews…they rock because YOU are an amazing writer! You make people FEEL things and understand things and be confused about things, and smile and cry! You make people want to write a review about your books. Because sometimes I read a book that isnt even worth the words of a review. Your books are worth the words, sugar!
    ~big slobber smooches~

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